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1085

SP-230—61
Shear Strength Prediction of
Deep CFFT Beams
by I. Ahmad, Z. Zhu, A. Mirmiran, and A. Fam
Synopsis: Synopsis: Synopsis: Synopsis: Synopsis: Despite significant theoretical advances in the use of concrete-filled fiber
reinforced polymer (FRP) tubes (CFFT), research on their shear behavior has been few
and limited. Current method of shear analysis of CFFT beams relies on Bernoulli beam
theory, which utilizes the basic assumption of linear strain distribution across the
depth. Most recently, the use of modified compression field theory was suggested to
improve the shear analysis of CFFT beams. The approach, however, is not applicable to
the disturbed or D-regions of a beam, such as those in a deep CFFT beam. Therefore,
this study adopted the strut-and-tie model to predict the shear strength of deep CFFT
beams. The model is validated against test results for a CFFT beam with a shear-span-
to-depth ratio of 1. A parametric study is then carried out to assess the shear criticality
of CFFT beams. The study showed that shear failure would only be critical for beams
with shear span less than their depth. High strength concrete was also found to
improve capacity of CFFT beams. However, a judicious selection of concrete strength
and fiber architecture with different proportions of shear and flexural capacities of the
tube could help optimize the use of materials.
Keywords: concrete; deep beam; FRP; shear; strut-and-tie model
1086 Ahmad et al.
Iftekhar Ahmad received his Ph.D. degree in structural engineering and mechanics from
North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC in December 2004. He is currently
employed as a structural engineer at ONM&J Inc., West Palm Beach, FL. His primary
research interests are shear behavior of composite members, strut-and-tie model, fatigue
in bridge members, and FRP applications in structural rehabilitation.
ACI Member Zhenyu Zhu received his Ph.D. degree from North Carolina State
University in Raleigh, NC in December 2004. He is currently a Research Associate at
Florida International University in Miami, FL. He is an associate member of committee
440. His research interests include construction issues and seismic behavior of hybrid
concrete-FRP structures, and FRP applications in structural rehabilitation.

ACI Member Amir Mirmiran is Professor and Chair of the Department of Civil and
Environmental Engineering at Florida International University in Miami, FL. He is a
voting member of Committee 440, and Co-Chair of Subcommittee 440-J Stay-in-Place
FRP Forms. His research interests include the use of advanced composites in
infrastructure.

ACI Member Amir Fam is Assistant Professor and Canada Research Chair in Innovative
and Retrofitted Structures at Queen’s University, Canada. He is a voting member of
Committee 440, FRP Reinforcement and Co-Chair of Sub-committee 440-J, Stay-in-
Place Formwork. His research interests include applications of FRP in new construction
and retrofit of existing structures.

INTRODUCTION

Use of fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composites has recently gained wide
acceptance as an economical technique for strengthening and rehabilitation of existing
concrete structures. Thriving incorporation of FRP in retrofit measures has led to the
development of an innovative hybrid construction concept and system (Mirmiran and
Shahawy 1995) that utilizes FRP tube and concrete as the two basic materials for member
design. Basic role of FRP tube in this system is to replace steel, while concrete serves the
same purpose as that in conventional reinforced concrete structures. In addition, FRP tube
renders itself as permanent formwork, protective jacket, confinement, shear and flexural
reinforcement, whereas concrete provides the compressive strength for the member and
stability for the tube against lateral buckling. The composite system thus formed is
commonly referred to as concrete-filled FRP tubes (CFFT), and is found a viable
alternative to reinforced or prestressed concrete for use as columns, piles and beams
(Karbhari et al. 2000, Mirmiran 2003, Mirmiran and Shahawy 2003).

In the last decade, considerable research effort has been directed towards
characterizing the CFFT system under axial compression (Samaan et al. 1998, Fam and
Rizkalla 2001), flexural and axial-flexural loading (Mirmiran et al. 2000, Davol et al.
2001, Fam and Rizkalla 2002), simulated seismic loading (Shao et al. 2005, Zhu 2004),
as well as long-term sustained loading (Naguib and Mirmiran 2001 and 2002). Superior
performances, comparable to reinforced and prestressed concrete, have been documented
FRPRCS-7 1087
for CFFT members under static and pseudo-static loading. In the modeling arena,
significant work has been carried out to better understand the behavior of the CFFT
system, and subsequently establish necessary design guidelines for practical
implementation. However, a detailed review of literature indicates that response under
short-term static shear loading has received little or no attention (Burgueno and Bhide
2004). It is evident that in real applications the CFFT system will be subjected to shear
forces in addition to other types of loading. Therefore, the increasing use of CFFT system
in infrastructure will depend on better understanding of the shear resistance of CFFT,
which in turn depends on the development of proper analytical tools that address
responses under all primary load demands including shear.

A study was undertaken to address the shear behavior and strength predication
of CFFT beams. The study consisted of two phases namely; experimental and analytical.
This paper reports on the analytical modeling. The model aims at predicting the capacity
of deep CFFT beams based on the well known strut-and-tie approach. The experimental
phase has been reported elsewhere (Ahmad 2004). However, a brief summary of shear
tests is included herein to provide instant reference to the reader.
SUMMARY OF TEST PROGRAM
A total of 10 CFFT beams were tested as a part of the experimental program.
The test program was developed in conjunction with two previous research projects by
Mirmiran et al. (2000) and Fam and Rizkalla (2002) mainly to cover a wide range of
a/D
o
, where a is the shear span and D
o
is the outside diameter of the tube. Mirmiran et al.
(2000) conducted flexure tests on short beams, using two different tubes of type I and II,
as shown in Table 1. Beams S-3 and S-6 had a/D
o
ratios of 1.93 and 2.04 respectively.
Similar GFRP tubes were used to fabricate the companion deep CFFT beams. Fam and
Rizkalla (2002) investigated flexural behavior of slender CFFT beams S-7 and S-8 with
types III and IV tubes respectively and a/D
o
ratios in excess of 6. In fact, the deep beams
S-7 and S-9 were cast as a part of the experimental program of Fam and Rizkalla (2002).
Some of the specimens for this project were cut from the same long span beams.
Irrespective of the tube types and a/D
o
ratios, all beams tested previously had failed in
flexure including the lowest a/D
o
ratio of 1.92. Hence, the a/D
o
ratio of 1 was selected
and companion deep beams were tested to identify the shear criticality and failure modes
of beams made with types I-IV tubes. Parameters studied included effect of fiber
architecture, a/D
o
ratio, reinforcement index, and diameter-to-thickness ratio of the tube.
Figure 1 depicts a typical view of the test setup. Table 2 shows the details of the tested
beams. Test results enhanced the data base of CFFT beams to the lowest practical value
of a/D
o
ratio of 1. Test results also enlightened the fact that shear may not be a critical
issue for CFFT beams when compared with their RC counterparts for a/D
o
ratios as low
as 1.
1088 Ahmad et al.
STRUT-AND-TIE MODEL FOR DEEP CFFT BEAMS
Although significant modeling efforts have been reported on the axial and
flexural behavior of CFFT members, none is directly applicable to deep CFFT beams.
Bhide (2002) and Burgueno and Bhide (2004) have recently augmented the modified
compression field theory (MCFT) with the classical lamination theory (CLT) to model
shear response of CFFT beams. The approach is based on a sectional layered analysis
with an iterative algorithm to achieve equilibrium and compatibility conditions for the
composite system, including the cracked behavior of the FRP-confined concrete and the
first-ply-failure criterion for the FRP tube. The model assumes linear strain distribution
across the depth, and resolves the shear stress distribution from the first order mechanics.
However, it is important to note that the model is applicable only to the so-called B-
region, where Bernoulli’s beam theory applies. In the disturbed or D-region, such as
CFFT beams with a/D
o
ratio of 1, inherent assumptions in the model do not apply, since
the behavior is dominated by the arching action rather than the beam bending action.
Hence, the model tends to provide lower bound strengths for short and deep CFFT
beams.

Previous attempts at estimating shear capacity of CFFT beams also include
modifications by Seible et al. (1996) of the UCSD shear strength model developed at the
University of California, San Diego by Priestley et al. (1993) for RC members. In their
model, shear strength V
n
consists of two components, similar to the shear equation of the
ACI 318-02

(2002), as given by
j c n
V V V + = (1)

where V
c
is concrete’s contribution, which is based on ductility of the member, as
expressed by
g c c
f V Α γ = 8 . 0
'
(2)

where γ accounts for the reduced shear resisting mechanism of concrete with the higher
ductility, and ranges between 0.1 and 0.29, and A
g
is the gross area of concrete section.
The truss component V
j
was developed for a 45
o
angle between the compression diagonal
and the axis of the member, taking into account the effect of multiple angle plies, as
given by
(3)
where n
w
is the total number of winding angles, D
o
is the outer diameter of the tube, t
j
is
the lamina thickness for each winding angle, and f
45
o
±θi
is the ultimate tensile strength at
the winding angle θ
i
. Since the equation adopts 45
o
crack angle, it implies that
compressive stress trajectories are uniform, and thereby assumes the entire length of the
member as a B-region. However, the actual internal flow of forces in a disturbed or D-
i
o
w
f t D V
j o
n
i
j
θ ±
=

π
=
45
1
2
FRPRCS-7 1089
region could be significantly different. It is therefore necessary to use a procedure that
more closely represents the actual flow of forces.
Strut-and-tie truss model or the load path method has been shown to closely
model internal force flow in a D-region of a deep RC beam(Schlaich et al. 1987).
Furthermore, the empirical Equation (2) or the comparable ACI equation may
underestimate the shear contribution of concrete, V
c
in deep beams by as much as 2-3
times. Also, Equation (3) does not take into account the interaction between the lamina
layers and the principal stress components. Therefore, the predicted V
j
could be higher
than what an angle ply laminate can actually resist.

According to St. Venant’s principle

(Schlaich et al. 1987), D-regions are
generally located within a length equal to the beam depth D
o
from the support and the
load point. For a deep CFFT beam with a/D
o
of 1, the entire beam can be regarded as
highly disturbed with overlapping D-regions and non-linear strain distribution. As shown
in Figure 2, a rigorous strut and tie model was developed in lieu of a simple truss. The
model comprises of multiple struts and a connecting tie.

Tests data

(Rogowsky and Macgregor 1986) have shown that shear strength of a
deep RC beam increases with lower shear-span-to-depth ratio because of the direct
compression strut between the load and the support. Subsequently, the slope of the major
compression diagonal strut is an important parameter, and is better defined by the a/D
o

ratio. Following a similar format of the ACI shear equation, the shear force in a deep
CFFT beam is proposed to consist of two components of V
c
and V
j
, where the former
accounts for the direct shear transfer in the major compression strut between the load and
the support, and the latter stems from truss mechanism of the compression fan like struts
of concrete and FRP. These struts at the load and reaction points provide stability to the
tube under lateral buckling. Figures 3 and 4 show the details of internal force flow of the
truss model. The proposed truss model is highly indeterminate in nature. Geometry of the
compressive struts is established by keeping the strut angles between 25
o
and 65
o
.
Number of the struts varies depending on the length of the shear span. Two or three
iterations may be required before the geometry of the truss is finalized. The following
assumptions are made for the analysis:

1) Failure of the tube takes place at 45
o
angle, which is on the plane joining the
load and the support for a beam with a/D
o
ratio of 1. This is confirmed by test
observations that the principal tensile strain at mid-depth coincides with strain
reading at 45
o
(see Ahmad 2004).
2) Effective length of the tube for resisting shear is the length between the
compression fan like struts that contribute V
j
to the total shear force (see Figure
2).
3) Vertical component of FRP diagonal shear is equally distributed to the nodes of
the truss that consists of compression fan like struts and the tube. This
assumption is similar to the yielding of all stirrups in an RC deep beam.
4) Perfect bond and full composite action are assumed between concrete and FRP
tube, so that there will be no slippage. End plate of the tension tie simulates the
1090 Ahmad et al.
embedment of FRP tube in adjacent members, which is the case in structural
applications.
Figure 4 illustrates the force equilibrium of the truss system and the nodes. It is
assumed that the horizontal force in concrete at the support node is fully transferred to the
tube by mechanical friction. For partial composite action, the strut force induced in
concrete depends on the friction force imparted by the interface. Once the bond strength
is estimated, concrete strut force can be calculated by force transformation. Irrespective
of the composite action, support reaction will significantly enhance the frictional
resistance by bearing.

Several reasonable assumptions were made to allow for sizing of the
compressive struts and tension tie, and determining their stresses. Flexural analysis of
CFFT beam suggests that that the neutral axis is located within a region of 0.2∼0.4D
o
.
Depth of the C-C-C node that is subjected to compressive force was therefore assumed to
be 0.3D
o
. Unlike an RC beam, reinforcement in CFFT beams is distributed throughout
the depth. Observation of failure modes of deep CFFT beams indicates that cracks
propagated up to mid-depth of the member at failure. Therefore, the bottom half of the
tube was considered effective in resisting tension at mid-span. Tensile and compressive
stress distributions are assumed linear above and below the CCC node. An equivalent
rectangular stress block is assumed for concrete compressive stress at mid-span.
Equilibrium of forces can then be written as

f fh h
T C C = + (4)
where T
f
is the tensile force in the bottom half of FRP tube, C
h
is the horizontal
component of compressive strut in concrete, and C
fh
is the induced compressive force in
the FRP tube due to compression fan like struts radiating from the load point. Based on
the strut and tie model, three types of failure mode could be identified, as follows: (a)
shear failure (rupture of the FRP tube under diagonal tension, or crushing of any
compression strut, or combined failure of FRP and any compression strut), (b) flexural
failure (rupture of tension tie at the bottom in mid-span) or (c) bearing failure at the C-C-
C node (load point) or C-C-T node (reaction point) under excessive bearing stresses. The
truss element that has the weakest capacity in the induced loading direction will govern
the overall failure mode of the beam. From the free body diagram, failure load is the
smaller of the shear and flexural resistance, as given by
( )
j C u
V V P + =2 (5)
a
T D
P
f o
u
α
=
2
(6)
where αD
o
is the lever arm between compression and tension forces, and T
f
is tie force
given by
FRPRCS-7 1091
( )
2
29 . 1
2
fu
j o
j
f
f
t D
t
T −
π
= (7)

where
fu
f is the ultimate tensile strength of FRP. T
f
is acting at the centroid of the
bottom half of the tube. Figure 5 depicts the qualitative shape of the compressive strut.
ACI 318-02 (2002) and AASHTO LRFD (1998) suggest the effective width of a circular
section to be D
o
for calculation of V
c
. Here, a conservative width of 0.8D
i
(see Figure 5)
is taken as the effective width of the strut, where D
i
is the concrete core diameter. Once
the load bearing plate dimensions are known, strut width could be established. Effective
compressive strength
ce
f in concrete strut is adopted from Macgregor (1997), as given
by
'
2 1 c ce
f f ν ν = (8)

where v
1
and v
2
are the efficiency factors, with v
1
selected as 0.8 for CFFT beams based
on the values given for deep RC beams in the same reference, and ν
2
is given as
'
2
15
55 . 0
c
f
+ = ν (
'
c
f in psi) (9a)
'
2
25 . 1
55 . 0
c
f
+ = ν (
'
c
f in MPa) (9b)
The required strut thickness is calculated once the effective compressive
strength
ce
f is known. Recommended stresses in C-C-C and C-C-T nodal zones are
0.85
'
c
f and 0.75
'
c
f , respectively, as per the ASCE-ACI Committee (1998) on shear and
torsion.

MODEL VALIDATION
For brevity, typical verification of the above model is discussed here for beam
S-9. In a typical RC beam, about 25%-40% of the shear force is carried by stirrups to
ensure ductile mode of failure (Macgregor 1997). However, in majority of CFFT beams
the effective amount of shear reinforcement is much greater than RC beams due to the
continuous form of shear reinforcement over the shear span. Therefore, it may be
reasonable to start with a value of 50% of the total shear transferred through truss
mechanism. Tables 3 and 4 show the lamina thickness and properties of the GFRP tube
used to fabricate beam S-9. Laminate analysis was performed to obtain the strength of the
laminate, f
fu
perpendicular to the failure plane. Progressive laminate failure analysis
(Daniel and Ishai 1994) was carried out with Tsai-Wu failure criteria (Daniel and Ishai
1994) for laminate, and strength was found to be 16.82 ksi (116 MPa) for tube type IV.
Failure plane was assumed at 45
o
angle, as confirmed by the tests. After finalizing the
1092 Ahmad et al.
truss geometry, ultimate load P
u
was found to be 178 kips (792 kN) and 202 kips (898.5
kN) to fail the beam S-9 in flexure and shear, respectively. This indicates that flexure
governs the mode of failure, as confirmed by the tests. The predicted failure load also
agrees favorably with the experimental load of 190 kips (845 kN). The analysis showed
that shear failure, if critical, would occur by crushing of the struts BH and AB (see Figure
3) rather than diagonal tension failure of the tube. Stresses in nodes C-C-C and C-C-T
were both below the respective limiting stresses.
PARAMETRIC STUDIES ON SHEAR CRITICALITY
The above strut-and-tie model was used to evaluate the shear criticality of CFFT
beams in a parametric study with the following four key factors: (a) fiber architecture, (b)
a/D
o
ratio, (c) D
o
/t
j
ratio, and (d) concrete strength,
'
c
f . For simplicity and practicality, all
material and geometric properties were selected to vary around those of beam S-9
described above in the model validation, unless otherwise noted.

Figure 6 shows the effect of fiber architecture on the ratio of the ultimate load P
u

for shear to its value under flexure. The ratio indicates shear criticality, if less than 1. The
fiber architecture is taken as a parameter, since it also reflects the effect of jacket
strength, f
j
in the axial and hoop directions and the fiber volume fraction of the laminate.
Three types of laminate architecture were used to study the effect of this factor on shear
criticality. Type of angle ply has the same lay-up, thickness, and materials as tube type IV
and can be regarded as the intermediate case. Types of axial and hoop represent two
extreme cases of 0
o
and 90
o
angles, respectively, or in other words, the least shear
capacity and the least flexural capacity, respectively. They both fail by splitting of the
tube parallel to the fiber direction. The figure clearly shows that axial fiber orientation,
such as in pultruded shapes, is vulnerable to horizontal shear failure. On the other hand,
angle plies are generally better in terms of shear capacity, and can be optimized for a
balanced design of flexure and shear.
Figure 7 depicts the effect of a/D
o
ratio on shear criticality of CFFT beams. As
the a/D
o
ratio approaches 0.5, the number of struts consolidates to only one major
diagonal strut. However, for a/D
o
of 0.75, the number of compression fan like struts
reduces to two. Due to lack of any experimental evidence, a 45
o
angle can be assumed for
tubes all cases, even though it is believed that it may be somewhat higher for the a/D
o

ratio of 0.75. Analysis reveals that for the a/D
o
ratio of 0.5, shear contribution of concrete
is about 100% of the total capacity due to the increase in major compression strut angle
and a decrease in the effective length of the tube. For higher values of a/D
o
ratio, if a
beam is sufficiently slender so that compression fan regions at the load and reaction
points do not overlap, no major compression strut will exist. Instead, a uniform
compression stress field will develop, which means that the method proposed by
Burgueno and Bhide (2004) would be appropriate. However, a truss model can also be
developed to predict the shear capacity of slender CFFT beam. It can be seen from the
figure that critical a/D
o
ratio is about 0.9 for this particular set of parameters.
FRPRCS-7 1093
Figures 8 and 9 show the effects of D
o
/t
j
ratio and concrete strength,
respectively, on shear criticality of CFFT beams. The D
o
/t
j
ratio is varied by changing the
thickness of lamina layers of tube type IV. Both parameters show similar trends as that
for the a/D
o
ratio. Shear tends to be critical for very low values of each parameter.
Flexural capacity is more sensitive to the D
o
/t
j
ratio, while shear capacity is more
sensitive to concrete strength.
A careful observation of the effect of concrete strength reveals important aspects
of shear design of CFFT beams. At lower levels of concrete strength, a brittle shear
failure may occur in one or more concrete struts, while at higher levels of concrete
strength, a combined failure of concrete struts and FRP tube may take place with some
ductility imparted from the FRP tube. Therefore, a higher concrete strength is generally
more desirable. A judicious selection of concrete strength and fiber architecture with
different proportions of shear and flexural capacities of the tube can help optimize the use
of materials.

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
Despite significant theoretical advances on the axial and flexural behavior of
concrete-filled fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) tubes (CFFT), research on their shear
behavior has been few and limited. Most recently, the use of modified compression field
theory was suggested to model shear response of CFFT beams. The approach, however,
is not applicable to the disturbed or D-regions of a beam, such as those in a deep CFFT
beam. Therefore, this study adopted the strut-and-tie model to predict the shear strength
of deep CFFT beams. The model was validated against test results for a CFFT beam with
a shear-span-to-depth ratio of 1. Predictions showed good agreement with test results. A
parametric study was then carried out to assess the shear criticality of CFFT beams. It
was concluded that shear failure would only be critical for beams with shear span less
than their depth. High strength concrete was found to improve capacity of CFFT beams.
However, a judicious selection of concrete strength and fiber architecture with different
proportions of shear and flexural capacities of the tube could help optimize the use of
materials.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Financial support for this study was provided by the National Science
Foundation as part of the Faculty Career Award to Dr. Mirmiran. Additional support was
provided by the Florida Department of Transportation. However, views and opinions
expressed in this paper are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of the
sponsoring agencies.
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Reinforced Polymer Tubes,” Ph.D. Thesis, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC,
215 p.
1096 Ahmad et al.
FRPRCS-7 1097
1098 Ahmad et al.
Figure 1—An overview of shear test setup
Figure 2 —Strut-and-tie model for deep CFFT beams
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Figure 3—Details of strut-and-tie model
Figure 4—Equilibrium of truss model with internal force flow
1100 Ahmad et al.
Figure 5—Qualitative shape of major compression strut
Figure 6—Effect of fiber architecture on shear criticality of CFFT beams
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Figure 7—Effect of a/D
o
ratio on shear criticality of CFFT beams
Figure 8—Effect of D
o
/t
j
ratio on shear criticality of CFFT beams
1102 Ahmad et al.
Figure 9—Effect of concrete compressive strength
'
c
f
on shear criticality
of CFFT beams